Posts Tagged ‘A Catcher In The Rye’

Something else an academic education will do for you.
If you go along with it any considerable distance, it’ll begin to give you an idea what size mind you have.
What it’ll fit and, maybe, what it won’t.  After a while, you’ll have an idea what kind of thoughts your particular size mind should be wearing.
For one thing, it may save you an extraordinary amount of time trying on ideas that don’t suit you, aren’t becoming to you.  You’ll begin to know your true measurements and dress your mind accordingly.
  —  J. D. Salinger
From “A Catcher In The Rye
[Apologies for my creative interpretation.  This is one paragraph in the original…  —    KMAB]

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You’re a student — whether the idea appeals to you or not.
You’re in love with knowledge.
And I think you’ll find, … you’re going to start getting closer and closer — that is, if you want to, and if you look for it and wait for it — to the kind of information that will be very, very dear to your heart.
Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior.  You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know.  Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now.
Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles.  You’ll learn from them — if you want to.
Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you.
It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement.  And it isn’t education.  It’s history.  It’s poetry…
I’m not trying to tell you, that only educated and scholarly men are able to contribute something valuable to the world.
It’s not so.
But I do say that educated and scholarly men, if they’re brilliant and creative to begin with — which, unfortunately, is rarely the case — tend to leave infinitely more valuable records behind them than men do who are merely brilliant and creative.
They tend to express themselves more clearly, and they usually have a passion for following their thoughts through to the end.  And — most important — nine times out of ten they have more humility than the unscholarly thinker.
— J. D. Salinger
From:   “A Catcher In The Rye
[This is an unusual “quote / excerpt” for me because I’ve removed some of the text and rearranged the sentences to “say” more of what I’m getting from the quote.  —   KMAB]

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